Day 14 of the adventure, Sitting Bull and more White Man Bull Sh*t Well, Day 14 of our Adventure and the wonders have not ceased. IF you are just skimming, read the bolded print and the highlights. I hope you find this info intriguing enough to read it all. Today we only drove about 270 miles as we spent a good deal of time at two museums and visiting Custer's Last Stand. Personally my interest in visiting this area was to try and understand this event from the native American's perspective. What I learned was not what I expected. At the Museum gift shop I asked a native American why the Indians were here in 1876 such large numbers in the first place. Somehow from grade school I had this impression they were here to consolidate forces and organize war against their oppressors. I was terribly wrong, but so was my native American informant. He told me the Sioux and Cheyenne were here to take the Crow land away. It is a Crow reservation, the Sioux and Cheyenne were enemies of the Crow (actually, almost everyone hated the Crow), and it did appear to be land worth taking compared to the Dakota Bad Lands that was given to the Sioux. But my Crow informant was wrong, said the Sioux park ranger and lecturer at the national park. Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho were not here to rob the Crow of their territory, nor to organize a war campaign against the US. They were here to enjoy a few days of hunting and celebrating the summer with friends and family. The following explains what was really going on at the time. Remember that gold was discovered in 1875 and by summer 1876 the Sioux sacred land of the Black Hills had been illegally invaded by white men. The Sioux had not taken retaliatory action for what was happening in Deadwood even though the treaty of 1868 promised to protect this territory from insurgence by whites. The Sioux already knew of "long hair" (Custer) because he had lead a party into their territory with geologist looking for gold just before it was found in Deadwood. Now that the white men were swarming Sioux country the authorities decided the only way to maintain peace was to settle all "Indians on the reservations". An order was sent out in early December 1875 giving the Indians until January 31 to move within the reservations or they would be "viewed as hostile and treated accordingly". Most had never been on a reservation but instead wandered in the "unceded" territory. The Sioux did not get this message until only days before the deadline which made it impossible to comply. They had already seen every promise from the US govt prove to be as valuable as high heel moccasins so why bother. Now that we understand the 'Indian' perspective we need to modify our perception of the popular legend regarding Col, George A. Custer. Custer appears to have dabbled in politics and got his fingers burned. He angered President Grant who did not want Custer leading troops in what might become a newsworthy event. Grant conceded at the last minute but Gen. W. T. Sherman ordered that no reporter accompany Custer into battle. To me it seems a bad idea to go into battle knowing your enemy, the Sioux, hate you and your leader, the president, hates you as well. Custer was in charge the Seventh Calvalry, about 700 men. His orders were very vague (deliberately so some contend) as you may see by the quote: "It is, of course, impossible to give you definite instructions in regard to this movement, and were it not impossible to do so the Department Commander places too much confidence in your zeal, energy, and ability to wish to impose upon you precise orders which might hamper your action when nearly in contact with the enemy." How could he have disobeyed orders such as those by attacking the Indian camp? Its no surprise he was labeled presumptuous and a glory seeking by political figures in the east who feared his popularity and were in the habit of attacking Custer. It was three men (Pres. Grant, Gen Sherman and another political appointee) who within days of the reports blamed the defeat on Custer for disobeying orders. The facts of what happened have never supported such a conclusion. Serving under Col. Custer, Major Reno fled the battle with companies M, A, and G and took cover on a ridge east of Little Big Horn where they were joined shortly by Captain Benteen with companies H, D and K. Even indian warriors later testified that if Major Reno had not retreated then Custers attack on the villiage would have prevailed and the indians would have retreated. Major Reno reported at the time that from the safety of the ridge he heard a gun battle below him but did nothing to help. Later in his inquest he denied hearing gun fire. In his presence was Captain Weir who also heard the gun battle and made an unauthorized attempt to get to Custer to help but his small company of volunteers was driven back by the mass of Indians. In the official Inquiry that followed Major Reno and Captain Benteen presented a scenario that no one in their companies recognized but themselves, the two officers. Why did Captain Weir, who acted in valor, not testify? Strangely he died just prior to the inquiry supposedly of an ailment not typical of a fit soldier who had just endured what he had. If that sounds a little suspicious, then try this: Col. Custer was not killed by arrows but by two gun shots. The Sioux and Cheyenne had modern repeating Winchester rifles, while Custer's men had antiquated single load rifles older than the civil war. Where did the Indians get this high tech equipment? From the Indian Bureau. Why did the Indian Bureau not notify the Calvalry that the Indians were better equipped than the US Calvalry? So Col. Custer:
Was going against buffalo hunters better equipped than the US Calvalry Did not know they were outnumbered by at least three to one. Was post-humus accused of 'disobeying order's when it appears under him Major Reno and Captain Benteen actually disobeyed orders resulting is Custer's death. The military inquiry did not question the inconsistencies of reports of the officers involved nor the objections of the soldiers who survived.
What we may have here is two groups of victims:
1 The Sioux and Cheyenne who were minding their own business and hoped to be left alone. 2 Col. Custer who was doing what he ALWAYS did as the most decorated soldier in the US, but without the military intelligence and support he expected.
I am struck with similarities of concerns such as misrepresented history, sabotage of a good name, misplaced loyalties, and even death. Corruption is everywhere, not limited to the infamous publishing corporation masquerading as a religion, the Watchtower Society. Yeah, the organization is harmful and their spin on things has more bull than Sitting Bull saw in his life time. But life and history is full of this sh**. Jst2laws